I'm calling this one a borrowed thing. A borrowed idea. I've been reading about sensory tubs over at counting coconuts. We've done a rice box and water table and of course we play in sand... but the idea of a seasonal or themed sensory tub is new and borrowed. The kids love playing with craft supplies and putting things in cups and pouring... now there is a spot designed for that.
I thought a school themed tub would be fun. There is a large bag of dried red beans covered with varying sized pom poms. There are several scoopers and shovels, an empty crayon box, a little tin tub, an empty drawstring bag, and an empty peanut butter jar. I added a ruler and two paint brushes on a whim and the kids have found uses for them. I removed the apples, they didn't serve any purpose and the kids took them out on their own for more room to play anyway.
My kids and the neighbors played with the tub and then I took it the nature center for the early arrival kids. Those little ones liked it too. I am already thinking of other themes... cooking, snowballs, sewing, Christmas, Easter, beach, etc. I plan to take the tub to preschool to use as an activity during arrival time.